Local

April 25, 2014

Feeding wildlife attracts dangerous predators

A coyote pauses near a sidewalk on main base. Desert predators like coyotes and bobcats can be seen all over the base, including the housing areas. Residents need to be aware of the risks these predators pose and take precautions to protect their pets.

Someone feeding the wildlife near the Rosburg Fitness Center may have inadvertently caused a woman to get bitten by a coyote late February.

Base wildlife experts from Edwards AFB Environmental Management believe the woman walked too close to a coyote’s preferred hunting spot, where they found evidence someone had been spreading bird seed. The area is where the paved bicycle path meets the parking lot near the Fitness and Sports Center.

“All wild animals are opportunistic,” said Mark Hagan, base wildlife biologist. “The coyote learned this was a great area to hunt rodents who were eating the bird seed.”

Biologists found evidence the coyote was using a large bush nearby as a concealed hiding spot.

“We suspect the coyote was defending a favorite hunting spot.”

Environmental Management placed signs in the area to warn people visiting the parking lot. However, if people do not stop feeding the wildlife it could happen again.

Feeding wildlife can also be dangerous to your wallet. Security forces will write tickets to people they see feeding wildlife.

“Violators will be cited, including civilians who can be cited under California Law,” said Master Sgt. Pedro Gonzalez, 412th Security Forces Squadron.

If found guilty, those violating the state law may receive fines from $300 to $2,000 and up to a year in jail.

Gonzalez said 412th SFS members are learning the coyotes’ and bobcats’ habits. “We’ve found some animals work on a schedule and will be in certain parts of the housing area in the late afternoon,” he said. “We’re there to harass them.”

412th SFS has personnel certified to use compressed air guns that fire specialized irritant projectiles to discourage coyotes and bobcats from staying in the housing area, he said. Despite these efforts, base residents and workers need to do their share.

“People need to modify their behavior,” said Lt. Col. Michael Rakoczy, 412th Mission Support Group deputy commander. “We need to keep the wild animals wild.”

Environmental Management encourages base residents and workers to help with the effort to make the populated areas of Edwards less enticing to predators with the following tips:

 

Discourage predators

* Remove all outside food sources. Never keep pet food or water outside; they attract hungry predators and other wild animals.

* Do not feed predators. This encourages them to stay.

* Do not feed their native prey. This includes birds, rabbits, rats or squirrels. Putting out food for these animals encourages native desert animals to stay in the area. This attracts predators.

* Secure garbage cans so they cannot be easily knocked over or opened. Use a rope or elastic cord to secure the can to a fence or other immovable object and another cord to keep the container closed. Put garbage out just before it is collected. Don’t leave trash bags outside a secured container even on pick-up days. If ravens, animals or the wind spread garbage outside the can, clean it up immediately.

* Trim high grass, overgrown tree limbs, bushes and shrubs to minimize hiding places or shady spots.

* Report broken or mistimed landscape irrigation fittings like sprinklers or bubblers that are leaking or leaving puddles.

Keep safe

 

Apply these measures to keep yourself safe and discourage coyotes from staying in the developed areas of Edwards.

* Arm yourself with a stick, golf club, horn or loud whistle when walking or running.

* Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, including developed areas like parking lots.

Be the ALPHA animal

* Make predators uncomfortable.

* Make eye contact.

* Never panic or run from a predator.

* Make yourself appear larger than you are.

* Talk loudly or yell to distinguish yourself as a threat.

* Throw rocks or sticks.

* Wave golf clubs or large sticks at them.

* Turn your body sideways and slowly walk away from the animal.

* Always make sure a predator has an escape route. Cornering an animal near a fence or a building will increase their aggressiveness and they will tend to lash out in fear.

* Never get between a mother predator and her pups or kittens.

Normally, coyotes do not attack humans. If a wild animal threatens you, fight back. Get to a safe location and call 911 – or (661) 277-5450 from a mobile phone. Seek medical attention if you are bitten or scratched. Report all animal bites to Public Health at (661) 277-2244.

For more information on living with desert wildlife, contact Environmental Management at (661) 277-1401.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs November 14, 2014

Federal benefits open season This year, Edwards is hosting the annual Benefit Health Fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nov. 20 in Bldg. 3000 for both Edwards and NASA federal employees. The event will be in the main conference room (123) and lobby. Several health and dental plan representatives will be available to answer questions. During open...
 
 
AAFES photograph by Jusika Martinez

AAFES, Dickies present big check to local Airman

AAFES photograph by Jusika Martinez Air National Guard Senior Airman Veronica Lemus (right), 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard,†poses for a photo with a large check and Chief Master Sgt. Bonnie Balthrop, 146th...
 
 
smoke-out

2014 Great American Smokeout Nov. 20

Join Edwards AFB and the American Cancer Society in observing the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20. All employees are invited to join in this observance, by setting a quit day, or by supporting your colleagues on this day. Sta...
 

 
Untitled-1

Edwards flight test community prepares for federal spectrum auction

Air Force graphic As flight vehicles increase in complexity, so does their data requirements. This graphic of a typical aircraft displays the integrated sensors and avionics system with major components showing how each compone...
 
 

Volunteer groups raise funds while helping service members wrap up the perfect present

Edwards Air Force Base – Community groups can raise funds for their worthy causes while spreading some holiday cheer as the Edwards Air Force Base Exchange is actively soliciting partners for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s annual community gift wrap program. “In order to make the holidays a little easier, we partner with...
 
 
fun-run1

NAIH Month 5K Run/Walk held in memory of Code Talkers

In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month, and in memory of World War I and II “Code Talkers,” Team Edwards hosted a 5K run/walk Nov. 12 at the Rosburg Fitness Center. Of the more than 20 runners and walke...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>